Ramos: I have no problem with Costa
Sergio Ramos has told AS that he is looking forward to playing alongside Diego Costa for Spain despite the pair's history of on-field battles at club level.
Real Madrid’s Ramos and Atletico Madrid’s Costa clashed again during Sunday’s 2-2 La Liga draw at Atletico’s Estadio Vicente Calderon, with the Blancos centre-back lucky not to concede a penalty for challenge on the Colchoneros forward in the first half.
Previous clashes at club level have been more serious, including an unsavoury spitting incident in a Liga game at the Bernabeu in December 2012.
With Brazil-born Costa finally set to debut for his adopted country in Wednesday’s friendly against Italy, Ramos said that what happened at club level would be forgotten for now.
"[Costa] can bring us many things," the Andalucian defender said. "There is no problem [between us], this is part of our sport, we defend our own interests.
"We are international teammates, so you need to look at it differently. In some moments you have to be more prudent."
Ramos declined to comment when asked how he felt about Madrid teammate Alvaro Arbeloa -- who also has history with Costa -- a surprise exclusion from Spain’s squad for the game at Atletico's ground.
"I do not want to get into any debates," he continued. "The boss picks the team, he makes the decisions."
Costa himself did not stop to talk to reporters when he arrived at the Spanish FA’s Ciudad de Futbol campus at Las Rozas on Monday morning.
All 22 members of the squad named last Friday by La Roja coach Vicente Del Bosque have joined up, although Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas is a doubt for the game with a groin problem suffered during Sunday’s 4-1 win over Almeria.
Meanwhile Spain captain Iker Casillas has said he is looking forward to facing Italy again, as the debate over the Madrid’s full-time goalkeeping spot was re-opened when Diego Lopez was beaten by Atletico midfielder Gabi's 35-yard effort during Sunday’s derbi clash.
The 2010 World Cup-winning captain told Melodia FM that he hoped to play in Wednesday’s game, and appreciated the trust that his former Madrid coach Del Bosque had always shown in him.
"I hope to play against Italy," Casillas said. "Being with the national team is very important for me. I appreciate the confidence of the coach [Del Bosque]."
Regaining the number spot for his club remained an ambition, Casillas stated: "You try and fight and battle to aspire to wanting more. I am very ambitious and I always want to play, while always respecting my teammates."